Miami Beach

New Miami Beach city manager hires department heads

 

cveiga@MiamiHerald.com

Along with a new city manager, Miami Beach has several new department heads.

The officials were confirmed at Wednesday’s regular commission meeting.

Miami Beach had been without leaders for many of its departments for some time. Jimmy Morales, who was recently hired as city manager, saw that as an opportunity to “bring in a new team” and “shake up the organization a bit, and move forward.”

The new hires are:

• Eric T. Carpenter, Director of Public Works: Carpenter comes from the City of Doral, where he served as an award-winning director of Public Works. He is a registered professional engineer and has more than 10 years of public- and private-sector experience.

• Mariano V. Fernandez, Director of Building and Building Official: Fernandez has worked for 35 years in both the public and private sectors, most recently serving as building director/official for the City of Miami. He also is a professional engineer.

The Beach’s building department has been scandal-plagued for years. In 2008, two building department employees were arrested for taking bribes, including a Rolex watch, from a developer. The then-director of the department resigned after the city manager said he had lost confidence in him.

More recently, city commissioners ousted Cynthia Curry shortly after she was appointed building director. It turned out she had admitted only weeks earlier to knowingly and repeatedly double-billing Miami-Dade County for work at Miami International Airport.

The city previously had two people doing the job that Fernandez will now do. That’s because Stephen Scott, who served as the department director, didn’t have the required license to be the building official. Scott will now be deputy director of the department. The previous building official was retired and only came back to help the city until a permeant official was hired.

Morales, the new city manager, said Fernandez “runs a clean shop,” and “his reputation for customer service is awesome.”

• Keith R. Kleiman, director of the Office of Budget and Performance Improvement: Kleiman comes from the city of Coral Gables and also worked at North Miami. He has worked in the public sector for 33 years.

• Sylvia Crespo-Tabak, Director of Human Resources: Before landing her permanent new role, Crespo-Tabak was tapped in September 2012 to help Miami Beach prepare for union contract negotiations. She also directed and supervised the Labor Relations and Employee Relations divisions, and heard grievances.

Crespo-Tabak has 20 years of experience in her field. She has worked for Miami-Dade County and Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Follow @Cveiga on Twitter.

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